Here is an email that my dad sent today:
Just wanted to give everyone an update on Toni. A little background - while on the Doxil for two monthly treatments, she's been doing very well and was feeling pretty well, just really, really tired as you know. She's pretty wiped out most afternoons from normal activity.
In spite of looking very good and feeling ok, her CA125 blood marker number has really shot up the last month or so. That's the blood marker test that indicates if the cancer is active or not. The normal range is 35 or below. At diagnosis in 4/2009, Toni's was 285. Through the various chemo mixes, it dropped to 13-14 in 11/2009, but then started rising again. It's jumped around, but in the past few months it's gone up sharply. It went from below 100 to 120, 170, and it was measured at 242 last week, almost as high as the original number. Since it's not unusual for CA125 #'s to jump around sometimes, Dr. Yeilding did a CT scan to learn more. We got the results today. Fortunately, it still is not in the organs, but there's a little more fluid in the abdomen, around the liver, about 8 oz., a little more than the last CT scan in June. It's not in the liver, but in the fluid around it. This Friday, they're going to drain some of the fluid around the liver to test it. It's done outpatient at Brookwood, so that's good.
Dr. Yeilding believes the Doxil is not working, so he's moving her to something else, a combo of Cisplatin and Gemzar (Gemcitabine). She's had Cisplatin before briefly and experienced nausea, almost daily. The Gemzar evidently has some similar side effects -, etc. If that test on the fluid doesn't cause him to change the treatment plan, Toni will start the new mix on Tuesday, 9/14.
This is not a really big negative. In fact, it's great to know that it's not in the organs. Toni asked the Dr. today "I'm still in good shape, correct?" and his reply was a hearty "Yes", and he's still positive, especially since the organs haven't shown any cancer. Dr. Yeilding says we still have several options.
I'll keep you posted on progress, but I wanted you to know about this latest change.
Please keep her on your prayer list - I know you haven't stopped! - and thank you for that blessing and support.